Art and life are tightly interlinked for me, with much of the motivation behind my work being born directly out of my childhood experiences. I value honesty and transparency, both in life and in art.
For that reason, I thought it appropriate to share a 'note' I wrote a few months ago, which will hopefully offer some context to the title of my blog and my transition from Art Student to Aspiring Artist.
I was looking through all sorts of notes on facebook the other day and stumbled across one of my own from a few months ago. I read it and remembered the struggles and frustration of one journey coming to an end (uni, and my degree in fine art) and not knowing what the next journey could possibly be. I've heard someone talk about the end of university being like the end of a conveyor belt and I remember feeling exactly like that. The anticipation of everything ending abruptly, with no plans for the future, in a career driven world, was daunting to say the least. The note I was re-reading was about finding peace for the journies ahead. I became addicted to Stephen Curtis Chapman's song, 'Great Expectations'. I set to ground my heart and mind in a promise from God which unfolded through the song words: 'I've been invited to come and believe the unbelievable, receive the inconcievable and see beyond my wildest imagination...'
And so in response to the song words I wrote this: The peace has been found in noting a promise for a hope beyond my wildest imagination. I'm ready to not go hunting for and try and win for myself the inconcieveable, but instead to receieve it. I need to learn a slightly more passive, trust rather than my panic-grabing at dirty strands of freedom and purpose and stability which I know won't satisfy.
Now I'm writing to tell you the next part of the story with the benefit of a newly aquired ounce of retrospect. I remember, in the face of leaving university, striving to 'trust' and not to worry about the future and what it may hold. In the end I resolved to enjoy the last few months in Lancaster and make my peace with not having everything lined up for the next step by the time I graduated.
One of the (many) days I was marching through the art department feeling busy I noticed an advert pinned on the notice board for a position as a resident artist at an all girls private school in Rickmansworth. I was amazed to read the advert, Rickmansworth being only 25 mins away from my family home and on the tube line for London. So I prepared and sent off an application.
Around that time I was toying with the idea of staying in and around Lancaster. I didn't want to leave friends and anticipated it would keep me nearer to Mike (my long term boyfriend). I started playing around with the idea of working at a local sixth form art college for people with complex needs. I was even handed a cut out for a job vacancy at the college; work was available, it seemed. And yet for some reason it felt right to wait and see what happened with my application to the artist-in-residence position, and I decided to not even apply else where. A totally differnet mentality from previous months where I'd spent hours reseraching potential work and filling out application forms - 'trying to keep as many doors open as possible'.
After a while I wrote to ask for some feedback on my application to the residency, which I presumed to be unsuccessful. The rest of the story may be obvious. My application hadn't be unsucessful and I was offered an interview. When I came for interview I was blown away by the place; what was infront of me was so far beyond my wildest imaginations and my highest expecations.
I got the position. SO far from my wildest expecation, my first year out of art school and I'm living independently and working as an 'artist'! Who actually gets to do that? I have 24 hour access to my art studio, which is at least 4x the size of something I could have hoped for. Probably more like 5 times the size I'd get on an MA course. I'm hooked up with my own office, free internet, computer and printer, a lush flat and all my meals are provided. My family (and friends from home) are only 25 minutes down the road.
I can't imagine any situation or place in the country more suited to me at moment. It only occured to me to write when I was looking back over notes from old and read that I had wanted to trust that God would exceed my wildest imaginations and that I would receive the inconcievable. I never dreamt it could have been this big, this far beyond my wildest imagination etc.
And now, of course, that I'm here.... I'm overwhelmed and daunted and plagued by seeds of self doubt (sometimes). But it's good for me to remember how I got here and expect that there is a purpose and a significance in it. I feel like I'm embarking on a VERY steep learning curve and though I'm excited, I do feel really timid in it too.
Anyhow, I just wanted to share my story with you. I hope it comes out as I meant it too. I'm desperate to empahsise that in my 'panic-grabing at dirty strands of freedom and purpose and stability' I got no where. I have a genuine faith in God and believe he showed me that he wanted me to recieve something and this is the undeserved, uber exciting, totally stretching and overwhelming, but utterly amazing deal I recieved!